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Page added on January 26, 2012

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Supermarkets rush to raise fuel prices as pumps run dry amid fears of panic buying

Supermarkets rush to raise fuel prices as pumps run dry amid fears of panic buying thumbnail

Fuel prices have risen again just 24 hours after one of Britain’s biggest refineries went bust, stopping supplies to filling stations.

There are fears of panic buying after long queues formed outside several filling stations in the South East yesterday as diesel pumps ran dry.

Supermarkets – which usually set the trend – have put up to 1p a litre on the price of diesel and unleaded.

On average across the UK, diesel rose to 142.32p (from 142.21p) per litre and is now within a fraction of a new record. Petrol rose to 134.03p per litre (from 133.89p), the AA reported.

Queues: Motorists at a petrol station in Colchester yesterdayQueues: Motorists at a petrol station in Colchester yesterday, one of hundreds that saw extra demand after the firm behind one of Britain’s biggest oil refineries went bust

Tesco said it had increased its prices by 1p per litre on Monday – the second such rise in a fortnight. It said the rises were down to the increasing wholesale cost of fuel and came before the shutdown at the Coryton refinery.

But data used by petrol retailers showed Sainsbury, Esso and BP have all raised their prices by varying amounts this week.

More…

And more hikes are in the pipeline, with petrol retailers and motoring groups warning: ‘The only way is up.’ The closure of the Coryton refinery in Essex was announced on Tuesday as Swiss parent company Petroplus went into receivership.

The shock closure, which put 1,000 jobs at risk, hit supplies to filling stations in the South East, where Coryton provides 20 per cent of the total fuel, 10 per cent of the UK’s demand.

Motoring groups have warned ‘profiteering’ speculators will seize on the restricted supply to drive up the wholesale cost of petrol and diesel, pushing up prices at the pumps.

Coryton refinery in Essex , one of the main oil refineries to London and the South East has been closed by its Swiss owner, raising the prospect of fuel shortages on the capital's forecourtsCoryton refinery in Essex , one of the main oil refineries to London and the South East has been closed by its Swiss owner, raising the prospect of fuel shortages on the capital’s forecourts

Aerial view: Coryton refinery covers a vast expanse of the Essex coastlineAerial view: Coryton refinery covers a vast expanse of the Essex coastline

Coryton’s administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers confirmed no fuel supplies left the refinery yesterday, but production is continuing with refined fuel being stored on site.

The administrators and Revenue and Customs both denied supplies were being held up because of concerns that duty and VAT may not be paid on each 44,000 litre tanker leaving the site.

Insiders pointed instead to a ‘bureaucratic hiccup’ in the legal terms of the administration which was preventing the refinery from continuing to trade. Russ Ball, regional industrial organiser for the Unite union, said: ‘They are looking to resume supplies in the near future, hopefully within 48 hours.’

Government officials insist gaps in supply are being met by other refineries in the UK and abroad and have urged motorists not to panic.

Refineries that supply us with fuel

Industry experts predict diesel prices are set to soar by up to 3p, to a record £1.45 a litre. This would see the cost of filling a family saloon with a 70-litre tank hit £100.

Record fuel prices were set in May last year when diesel rose to 143.04p and petrol 137.43p.

Instability in Iran and threats to blockade key oil routes in the Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz, coupled with the strong dollar, is also storing up trouble, retailers warned.

AA president Edmund King said: ‘There is no doubt the loss of supplies from a major UK refinery, plus the problems in Iran, is going to give the speculators a field day.

‘When they speculate, the only way is up as far as  fuel prices are concerned. Motorists are going to have to get used to seeing prices creeping up.’

Daily Mail



8 Comments on "Supermarkets rush to raise fuel prices as pumps run dry amid fears of panic buying"

  1. george on Thu, 26th Jan 2012 2:24 pm 

    LOL

  2. BillT on Thu, 26th Jan 2012 4:05 pm 

    Coming to a station near you in the US. There are refineries closing here also.

  3. Kenz300 on Thu, 26th Jan 2012 7:16 pm 

    Reminds me of gas lines of the 1970’s. That caused higher prices, long lines, rationing, business failures, and higher unemployment. Bring on the electric, flex-fuel, hybrid, CNG, LNG and hydrogen fueled vehicles. Some choice is better than no choice. It is time to end the oil monopoly on transportation fuels.

  4. DC on Fri, 27th Jan 2012 12:00 am 

    Ken, what do you think the electric, flex-fool, ‘hybrid’, CNG, LNG and 250k hydrogen-fool cell vehicles are made from? Yea thats right OIL. The oil that UK apperently is running a little short of atm. What are all those techno-fantasys going to cost when the price of OIL is permanently 2 or 3 times what it is now?

    Hint: there not gonna get any cheaper, if they get built at all. Not only that, what will happen to the allready exhorbitant cost of the oil soaked road system all those fool-cell cars are supposed to run on? Amerika cant afford to maintain the roads it has at the current price. See what happens when oil doubles again. Sure, end the monopoly of liquid fuels tommor and just replace it with a new, more expensive and no cleaner monopoly. Let us know how thats all gonna work out ok?

  5. BillT on Fri, 27th Jan 2012 1:41 am 

    DC, Ken is still in the denial stage. He does not want to see the reality that EVERYTHING is connected to oil. EVERYTHING. All of his fuel dreams requires machinery and energy that can only be provided by the use of oil. From the mines to the factories to the showroom to the actual use to the replacement in the future. ALL require huge amounts of oil. Where does it stop?

    Just follow the process to make one component of any of them and you will see what I am talking about. They ALL start in the ground somewhere in the world. Mining is hugely energy intensive. The machines are steel and huge requiring a huge amount of mining and processing just to get the mining machines, not to mention powering them.

  6. DC on Fri, 27th Jan 2012 2:09 am 

    Makeing things from oil is not necessariily a problem. Bikes are made from oil, so are trains and trams. But they last for decades, and require minimal upkeep. They are durable long-lasting, low impact artifacts. Everything Ken dreams about are complex, expensive, designed to fall apart rapidily, and require constant expensive maintainence, ie (oil). Only the EV comes off relatively good in terms of overall durability. It only took Britain what..one day or so here to go into panic mode? Will they learn any lessons from this?

  7. MrEnergyCzar on Fri, 27th Jan 2012 4:02 am 

    If you notice in the pictures there are no SUV’s. I’ve driven 4,000 miles the past 4 months on 7 gallons….

    MrEnergyCzar

  8. BillT on Fri, 27th Jan 2012 10:03 am 

    MrEnergy…what happens when you need to replace that battery and they cost a years wages or maybe more, if they are available at all? Do you also assume that you will have an income in 10 years? 5? I don’t expect the system to last 10 years. Maybe a lot less. There may very well be billions of accessible barrels of oil still in the ground when the system collapses but the means to get it out disappear along with the financial system.

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